How Attending a State School Affects My College Experience

While it may sound a little hypocritical, I want to begin by saying that it was never my dream to go to a state school only a mere two hours away from my hometown. This idea was seemingly the 'easy' decision that everyone makes and of course, I didn't want to hop on the bandwagon that the rest of my high school rides. 

It was most definitely not an easy decision, that's for sure. However, having gone against my previous aspirations, I can definitely say attending a state school was the right choice for so many reasons. While I may be living a different college experience than some students at small, private schools elsewhere, my university life is nothing to be talked down upon!

At the University of Massachusetts Amherst, we rank #1 for campus food. How's that for a state school stat?

Before coming to college, I barely considered dining plans while choosing a school. Now, I wouldn't even think about settling for less quality than the sushi stations at each dining hall, endless amounts of stir-fry, and constant tasty food available to me all day long

There's a misconception that attending a state school lacks resources, funds, and valuable networking post graduation. Here I am to tell you that this is not the case. It's actually the exact opposite!

UMass Amherst has an extensive alumni network in fields including law, finance, life sciences, etc. Even before commencement, undergraduate students have incredible research opportunities with highly educated staff members. Whether you're interested in studying sea turtles in Cape Cod Bay or impacts of drought and viruses on plant roots, there is for sure a professor who is waiting for your help!

It's pretty much a given, but state schools have the best school spirit by a long shot. With UMass Hockey consistently ranking in the top 5 of the NCAA, a student body of over 23,000 students, and the pride and joy of #1 Dining, everyone is more than proud to be a minuteman. Being a member of the UMass community becomes an identity. Sam the minuteman is our father figure, cucumber lemonade from Hamp runs through our veins, and W.E.B Du Bois is our home. I can't imagine wearing any other colors than the UMass maroon and white.

Lastly, the social component of going to a state school is the reason I call UMass my home. The friends I've made since moving off to Amherst are people I know will be in my life for a long, long time. 

We all have ambitious goals and motivated drives to reach for them. We know the importance of working hard while also allotting time for having fun. Plenty of us are Massachusetts born residents, and so our love for New England runs through and true. We understand the value of in-state tuition, being close to family, and education. 

Ultimately, we know the value of being enrolled at a state university and we wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. 


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